Massive Tanker Blast Kills 85 in Sudan

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Khartoum: At least 85 people have been killed and hundreds injured as a oil tanker veered off the road and burst into flames as people were siphoning fuel, Reuters reported.

The incident took place on Wednesday as the truck was traveling to South’s Sudan’s Western Equatoria region.

“Eight-five people are confirmed dead by the local authorities,” Ateny Wek Ateny, presidential spokesman, told Reuters, adding about 50 people were seriously injured.

Such incidents have happened before in a region where fuel tankers often have to travel long distances along potholed roads and pass through poor communities.

There are almost no tarmac roads in South Sudan, one of Africa’s poorest nations, which has been mired in conflict since December 2013. Rebels and the government signed a peace deal in August, although the ceasefire has already been violated.

Ateny said Wednesday’s incident was not related to the conflict. “This was an accident,” he said, adding the tanker had veered off the road and later exploded with a crowd around it